Attacking Syria is the smartest thing Donald Trump has done

Nash Riggins
us-launches-cruise-missile-strike-on-syrian-airbase

You don't have to be able to point out Syria on a map in order to have a fanatical opinion on its devastating six-year war – and unfortunately, most people can't point it out on a map.

But no matter where you rest your head on planet earth, chances are the war has touched you in some way or another. From the ever-worsening refugee crisis in Europe and the rise of Isis, to the introduction of draconian travel restrictions and spikes in oil prices, it truly is in the entire world's interest to see this heinous, bloody conflict resolved.

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That's why liberals all over the world were so pleasantly surprised when self-professed isolationist and all-round egomaniac Donald Trump decided to step up to the plate and take action.

The US laid waste to a crucial Syrian airbase in direct retaliation for a gruesome chemical attack that killed dozens of innocent men, women and children.

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Trump's move was undeniably a big blow to the besieged Bashar al-Assad and the pugnacious Russian state that's keeping him propped up. After all, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis claimed the attack destroyed about a fifth of Assad's total aircraft.

And what's more, it appears to have finally convinced complacent world leaders to get a bit more proactive.

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Boris Johnson and Theresa May are already squabbling over who will get to sit shotgun and help Trump take the lead in convincing Vladimir Putin to drop his support for Assad, and domestic audiences are praising Trump for finally acting upon the so-called 'red line' that Barack Obama arbitrarily invented and then swept under the rug all those years ago.

No matter which way you try and skin this cat, the decision to take military action in Syria is without doubt the smartest thing Donald Trump has done throughout the course of his brief but shambolic premiership – but not for the reason you might think.

For months, Trump has been left withering in the shadows of a seedy Russian state. Even before Trump's shock election victory in November, critics on all sides of the political spectrum were incessantly accusing him of being some sort of crude political marionette doll being controlled by the Kremlin.

God knows he keeps giving the media plenty of ammo.

Donald Trump

Saucy dossiers, attorney generals lying under oath about secret meetings with former KGB spy recruiters, a formal FBI investigation into Trump's links with Moscow and a fallen national security adviser begging for legal immunity in order to spill the beans on what the president does or does not have to do with Putin?

Russia hasn't enjoyed this much media exposure since the James Bond films of the 1980s.

This newfound political paranoia has planted itself firmly in the heads of liberals and conservatives alike, too. Even the most fervent Trump supporters are predictably wary of their new president's alleged associations with the Kremlin, and want his dirty laundry to be hung out to dry so that we can clear this up once and for all. Every day, it's getting tougher and tougher for the White House to suppress all of these wild conspiracy theories.

That's why sending over 59 Tomahawk missiles to dampen the spirits of Russia's key ally in the Middle East and Putin's top pet project in world policing was such a political masterstroke.

Okay, is Trump perpetuating hostilities in a horrific civil war he knows nothing about that's already claimed the lives of almost half a million people? You bet. Yet in attacking Assad, Trump is not only doing wonders to improve his shoddy image as an isolationist with no moral integrity whatsoever, but he's also setting fire to this ironclad Russian bridge that's been undermining him since day one.

Even when he's bombing other countries, the guy is focused solely on pleasing his core base of conservative fanatics at home – and it's already paying dividends. Bombing Syria hasn't really improved his approval ratings, sure. But virtually overnight, Trump has completely reframed the American news cycle and rebranded himself the only world leader brave enough to stand up to Russia.

In one swift swoop, the president has all but silenced an increasingly hostile domestic audience by issuing a macho declaration on the world stage – and he's simultaneously blinded us to all of the kooky stuff he's trying to sneak through at home.

As far as strategy goes, this is actually brilliant. It's just a shame he had to kill 16 people in a country he doesn't care about to do it.

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